Monday, 6 October 2008

Baptism of fire as Boris takes the Chair of the MPA

"We find ourselves in a situation which is pretty messy" said the last Chairman to the new Mayor. "What assurances can you give to future police commisioners that you aren't out of control."

We were sitting watching Boris Johnson's first appearance as the head of the Metropolitan Police Authority and by any measure this was not the best of starts. 

In the audience were members of the Metropolitan Black Police Association who had called for a boycott of the Met, and on the panel were members angered at being bypassed twice in just a few days.

Liberal Democrat Assembly Member Dee Doocey was among them:

"We don't have a problem with the outcome (of Blair's resignation) it is the way in which it was taken. If you do not consult with the MPA on something as important as this then it raises the question of what you will you do next."

Chair of the London Assembly Jennette Arnold agreed:

"Who did you talk to about this? I suspect that you didn't talk to anyone apart from your Deputy." Boris smirked:

"It is true that not everyone was consulted, but it was not the case that nobody was either."

Jenny Jones called for members who had been consulted to put up their hands. No members did.

Before the start of the meeting Boris's press office had announced that an inquiry would be launched into racism in the Met. Members were concerned.

Len Duvall reminded Mayor that it is not for him to establish inquiries but for the MPA as a whole. Boris replied that he hoped no-one there felt put out. 

Members of the authority then lined up to criticise the review as being everything from not independent enough, to being "the world's biggest long grass job"

Faced with this opposition Boris quickly agreed to review the review.

The following motion was then put up to the Authority:

“We believe that decisions concerning the confidence of Londoners in their Commissioner need to be taken by the Metropolitan Police Authority, with its cross party and independent membership, reflecting a broad range of Londoners views.”

"That seems eminently sensible to me" replied the Mayor, who quickly raised his hand. Members of the Authority looked back in disbelief.

-Update- MPA award themselves big rise in allowances
-Update- Statement from Jenny Jones in the comments
Reports from Dave Hill and Mayor Watch


Jenny Jones (Press Release) said...

“It is clear that when the Mayor took over as chair of the Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA) and told the Commissioner that he had no confidence in him, he should have been speaking on behalf of the Authority. Yet it is also clear that the Mayor did not consult all the members of the Authority about whether they wanted Ian Blair to go.

“It is important that we that have policing by consent in London and that means having a consensus on the MPA about policing. The way the Mayor usurped the authority of the MPA over Ian Blair’s resignation broke that consensus, as he failed to listen to a range of Londoners' views, as represented on the MPA.”

Will said...

When he agreed with the motion did he tousle his hair and speak in Latin by any chance?

The Troll said...

No he spared us the Latin this time thankfully.

There may well have been a bit of tousling tough ;)

Helen said...

Cuh, anybody'd think Boris wanted to run his own right-wing dictatorship.

Tom said...

He came to praise Sir Ian, not to bury him. Et tu, Boris?

harold said...

So that's it then?
1. Do what you want to do and ignore what others think.
2. Justify your activity
3. Vote for the motion that contradicts the way you acted.
4. See 1

Great man to work for!

The Troll said...

Boris Johnson 101.